My toes are itchin' for soft sand
And my head needs a rest.
I'll be back soon with lots and lots of photos.
I'll stop by to visit you all when I get back...
My feet were transporting me up
I don’t recall paying at the counter as I left the building, or coming out into the light of a day that was going to be different than all those that preceded it. Things would be different from here on out. I think I was calm and polite to the woman who handled the transaction and handed me the receipt, but it was all a blur now.
Shock and confusion were like a warm liquid seeping through my body, from the area right behind my eyes, down my neck and my back, through my extremities and right to my fingertips and toes. I was alone and numb. It’s a good thing my feet knew what to do. They walked…
Ah, yes, this is good. Distraction will get me home. One foot in front of the other…
But then what will I do?
I know. I’ll call my mom.
Oh, and she is never wrong. Not a chance. She will argue a point until the cows come home, even if halfway through the dispute she realizes that her argument is complete folly.
And she must have the last word! It’s enough to make you need some wine of your own.
But let me tell you something, my mother is truly awesome.
I will never forget the day I made that call to her.
I was just beginning my senior year of college, a time when I was enjoying every minute of my life.
I had befriended an entire cast of strange and entertaining characters at the bar where I was a cocktail waitress four nights per week, and it seemed a new misfit joined our odd little play every night.
Other weeknights plus Saturdays and Sundays, I worked for the local newspaper in a cluttered, disorganized office that pulsed with energy as we raced against deadlines, worked into the night, and stole snippets of sleep here and there on the threadbare green couch in the middle of the studio.
By day I was absorbed in my classes, traversing the grounds of the university from one lecture hall to another, occasionally hitting the campus gym for a spin on the stationary bike, sometimes stopping in the food court for a snack to enjoy on the grassy hill outside.
I enjoyed my friends. Since it was senior year we were all living in apartments off-campus around town, most of us within walking distance of each other. The house I rented with two friends on Cleveland Avenue had a front porch and a cute fenced yard in the back. I used to lie on my belly on the lawn reading Ann Rice novels while my guinea pig “Wheatie” munched grass in a tight line around my perimeter. When he was done he would climb into the sleeve of my t-shirt and take a nap.
My life was good. And it was all about to change.
“Um… ah… I’m pregnant.”
I was thankful that I had someone I could turn to for help, or even just advice, because being the only one that knew, even for the hour that it took me to walk home from the clinic downtown, made me feel so alone.
There was a reason she was the first person I called. My mother has common-sense, and she’s level-headed and calm. And I knew that she would be there for me, without missing a beat.
I wasn’t wrong. She spoke very calmly as she laid my options out on the table. They were the options I’d already been mulling over in my head all the way up Main Street, down Grand Boulevard and over to Cleveland, but they became more tangible once she uttered the words. Hearing them spoken aloud made them more manageable somehow.
She said if I didn’t want to go through with it, she would help me. If I chose to welcome a new member to our family, she would help me. Of course there was adoption as well. She said the hardest part is making a decision, and once I made up my mind about what I wanted to do, we would take it from there.
Hearing her voice on the other end of the line, the voice that had quietly guided me my entire life, I felt brave, and strong, and capable. She had given all those qualities to me.
The most important thing my mother told me that day was that everything would be okay.
And she was right. Six months later, I gave birth to my baby girl, the light of my life.
Thanks, Mom, for being there for me during the biggest decision of my life, and for all the years after. A single mom needs a guardian angel, and you are mine.
A mother is the truest friend we have. –